As a parent, you’ll want to do anything to ensure your children remain safe when they are on the internet and social media. Luckily, there are numerous things you can do to ensure your child only accesses websites and apps they are supposed to, limiting their exposure to online risks.
Today, we’ll be covering some of the top things you do to manage those online risks for your child. Read on for more information.
1. Speak to Your Child About the Internet and Social Media
Once your child is old enough to use the internet, speak to them about what they watch and read. Make this a regular thing as they get older. Ask what sites and apps they use. If you have issues about what your child accesses, voice your concerns.
2. Ensure Screens and Devices Are Where You Can See Them
Make sure you monitor your child’s online activity, especially younger children. The computer should be situated where you can keep an eye on your child’s online activity. Mobile devices are more difficult to monitor, but you can make them forget Wifi passwords so your child cannot use the internet without your say. In addition, you should check browser histories whenever your child has been on the computer.
3. Make Use of Parental Controls
Often, innocent searches can produce adult content, so you should understand how to set search restrictions and use other parental controls to limit what your child sees online. For instance, Google has a SafeSearch filter that blocks explicit sexual materials. While these filters are not 100 percent accurate, they will reduce many online risks for your child. However, studies show that children may accidentally find pornography and similar content accidentally rather than explicitly searching for it.
4. Know Your Child’s Online Friends
Parents should always know who their children are friends with on social media. Some people pretend to be children or are not who they pretend to be online, which is something you should make your child aware of at a young age.
We recommend becoming friends with people in your child’s social media circles and monitoring their posts. Your child may not like this, but you can tell them it is one of your requirements if they want to use social media.
5. Make Sure Your Child Knows Not to Share Information
If your child uses social media regularly, make sure they understand the risks of posting personal information and photographs. They may not understand the dangers of revealing such information online, but you can teach caution and ask them to think about what they share. One way to do this is by encouraging your child to ask themselves if they’d divulge that information to a stranger on the street.
In addition, you should also teach your child to keep their address and location private. Many apps and devices use geo-tagging, leading individuals to your location. This feature should be disabled for your child’s safety. In addition, digital photos may also contain metadata that reveals location information. Most social media platforms hide and remove this data automatically, but double-check before letting your child use those sites.
6. Consider Using an App
You may want to use a child safety app for parents to help monitor and manage online risks for your child. These apps have many advantages, including:
- Message monitoring: certain apps will give detailed reports about texts and social media messages, covering apps like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
- Time limits: Apps will let you define time limits where the device will be locked and only used for emergency calls.
- In-depth reporting: You will get detailed reports about browsing, messaging, and other phone activity
- App, website, and browser control: Most child safety apps will let you set daily usage limits to stop your child from playing games or browsing social media too much. In addition, you can block certain apps and websites altogether.
- Safety alerts: These apps will also send you safety alerts if your child is accessing something they shouldn’t.
There are many other benefits of using a child safety app, such as location tracking and SMS blocking. By following the suggestions in this article, you should be able to manage online risks to your child successfully and let them explore the internet with peace of mind.
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